Use of welfare outcome information in three types of dairy farm inspection reports

Yi Chun Lin, Siobhan Mullan, David C.J. Main*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
312 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the use of outcome-based observations within Assured Dairy Farm scheme (ADF), Soil Association Organic Standards (SA), and cross compliance (CC) farm assessment reports. Methods: A total of 449 ADF reports, 37 SA reports and 26 CC reports were analyzed and their objective comments categorized as either resource-based or outcome-based. Results: A mean of 61.0% of ADF questions were responded to with comments, in comparison to 25.0% of SA and, 21.0% of CC report questions. The SA and CC reports had significantly more outcome-based comments than the ADF (p<0.001). The assessors' tendency of choosing resource-based approach was revealed in the questionnaire results. Conclusion: Generally, the comments were comprehensive and contained professional judgements. Large numbers of comments provided in the ADF reports were mostly compliant and resource-based evidence, which serves as proof of assessment rather than aiding the certifying process. The inclusion of specific welfare outcome measures in the SA inspection likely increased the use of outcome-based comments in the reports, irrespective of whether the farm achieved compliance with a given standards. The CC scheme, on the other hand, focused on providing outcome-based evidence to justify noncompliant decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1525-1534
Number of pages10
JournalAsian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences
Issue number9
Early online date12 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • Animal Welfare
  • Cross Compliance Scheme
  • Dairy Cows
  • Farm Assurance Scheme
  • Organic Standards
  • Outcome Measurement


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